Reading this in conjunction with a Guitar Hero obsession made me want to spend my poker money on a real guitar. But the part of me that knows i'd neveReading this in conjunction with a Guitar Hero obsession made me want to spend my poker money on a real guitar. But the part of me that knows i'd never devote any time to it won the argument against my friend Scott's best efforts to talk me into joining his fraternity (of axmen). Almost a decade after he kindly set one up for me (polished and newly strung), as a compromise, that Fender sits forlornly in its case, almost completely unplucked.
Hodgkinson's goofy 1-year venture is laudable and enjoyable. Pick something you want to do and commit to it for a year. I was rooting for him the whole way....more
I expected the wrong kind of book. This is a meta-book. It's about Donald Winnicott (psychoanalyst), Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child), VirI expected the wrong kind of book. This is a meta-book. It's about Donald Winnicott (psychoanalyst), Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child), Virginia Woolf (esp., To the Lighthouse), Adrienne Rich, and many others as Bechdel relates them to her very particular daughter-mother relationship.
3.5 stars rounding down to 3 perhaps from envy. Bechdel couldn't be stopped by anything as teensy (<--understatement!) as self-doubt....more
In the mid-90s i was one of several white, upper-middle-class men who worked on the Multicultural Team for a publishing company. I most remember my woIn the mid-90s i was one of several white, upper-middle-class men who worked on the Multicultural Team for a publishing company. I most remember my work on Notable Black American Men, Contemporary Black Biography, Discovering Multicultural America, and Native American Tribes. During that time, i absorbed myriad tidbits (fact-lets, if you will) about the events and people depicted in this series. Lewis portrays them differently than i "learned" back then, and maybe that's a function of who i was when i "learned" about these events or maybe it's because the standard (his)story differs from his(particular)story.
Either way, i still strongly recommend this series of autobiographical histories of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Keep in mind that an insider wrote it. Remember that being an insider is NOT a reason to dismiss the story.
One of the biggest differences for me personally is how strongly agitated and downright angered i become while reading and seeing the horrible things people were willing to do. I cannot imagine condoning their crimes against humanity. It saddens me to see how much shittier the country was a mere 50 years ago. It scares me to think that some Americans might consider that time better than now and i want to ask them, "Better for whom? Better exactly how?" Gah! Grrrr! Non-violence would not have been possible for me and i never would've passed SNCC's training. I'm glad that much cooler heads than mine prevailed, for the most part and i simultaneously dread and look forward to reading volume 3 later today....more
You should read this book. It won't take much of your time and it'll give you a good sense of what it meant to live in a segregated country. Let's notYou should read this book. It won't take much of your time and it'll give you a good sense of what it meant to live in a segregated country. Let's not let this bullshit happen again because that is NOT when America was "great."
Lewis's/Aydin's delivery can be a bit stiff, but this was extremely enjoyable. I stayed up til 1:30am on a work night to finish it in one sitting....more
When i got married (in my mid-30s), instead of table numbers, we named our tables according to our personal and joint favorite authors. Kafka came froWhen i got married (in my mid-30s), instead of table numbers, we named our tables according to our personal and joint favorite authors. Kafka came from my side. He was a holdover from college and immediate post-college days when i bought several Schocken publications even though i couldn't really afford to put another $20 on my credit card. But i couldn't read Amerika or The Castle and i've never re-read The Trial or even seriously considered it. I did read a most of the collection of letters and a bit more than a couple handsful of his collected stories.
Of late, though, i have been dipping back into the stories, re-reading the more famous ones, y'know as something easier to consume late at night when i'm not ready to sleep but not quite alert enough to follow a dense philosophical tome. Reading Mairowitz's book last night compelled me to go thru "The Judgment" again this morning because its comic book synopsis clashed dramatically with my recollections from only a week or two ago. I worried that newer Kafkan scholars decided on a much different translation or rendition of the tale, one that completely leaves out the friend in St Petersburg or, worse, that my memory inserted all that stuff about the friend in St Petersburg from a totally different story.
What's the point of all this? I guess i just feel like talking about Kafka. Because Mairowitz helped put him back into my forebrain. Because now i want to reread The Trial and "The Metamorphosis." Hell, i'm even tempted to read Amerika (or, Der Verschollene [The Man Who Disappeared] as Mairowitz says was Kafka's [not Brod's] title for this unfinished work) and some of the critical works about Kafka that Mairowitz says are among those with "truly ecstatic and insightful prose": Ernst Pawel's The Nightmare of Reason Elias Canetti's Kafka's Other Trial Pietro Citati's Kafka
So, why 4 stars? Because i liked it. Crumb's illustrations normally bug me. Ever since the 70s when i first started reading comix, his style has bugged me. Back then it was because it didn't match the superheroes and Saturday morning cartoon styles i was familiar with and, therefore, thought were the only and, therefore, the proper look for illustrated/sequential art. Now that i know better, though, i still just do not like the look of his lines, faces, groteque legs, fascination with bosoms and hairs and bugeyes. The panels in this book seem to've been contained, almost as if he felt his subject deserved something a little tamped down from his usual ghastly stuff.
My little petties I like that the cover says Crumb & Mairowitz but the title page says Mairowitz & Crumb. I like that this edition is not called "Crumb's Kafka" (blech! and misleading). I'm glad they named Richard Appagninesi as the editor so i can blame him specifically for the myriad typos remaining in the FOURTH printing that i had in my hands: c'mon, Fantagraphics, fix this shit already!...more
5 stars for all the real and spectacular information. For giving us A Seinfeld Chronicle, if you will.
But i deduct 1 star for its failure to substanti5 stars for all the real and spectacular information. For giving us A Seinfeld Chronicle, if you will.
But i deduct 1 star for its failure to substantiate its vague (and thus ... quite lame) premise that Seinfeld interacts with the real world in a way that is somehow different from other TV shows. It's as if the title forced Armstrong to stick with the bit despite its weakness.
And i deduct ½ star for the subtextual weirdness in every early section about Michael Richards. Armstrong almost deserves a bonus ½ star for her deft handling of Richards's on-stage racist meltdown.
The scale perpetually swings back and forth between 3.5 and 4 stars, so let's call it 3.75....more
Foot's thoughts—at least as expressed in her writings so far—don't map well onto mine. If that was hard for you to comprehend, then you know what i'mFoot's thoughts—at least as expressed in her writings so far—don't map well onto mine. If that was hard for you to comprehend, then you know what i'm going thru here.
Also, i have become overly concerned with her decisions about where to use (or not use) commas.
And that pushed me onto a slippery slope downward into the swampy distinction between that and which.
Her short essay about free will and "determination" (according to the back cover blurb!) failed to reignite the fire initially sparked by the supernaturally fecund throwaway idea of the Trolley Problem.
Thus and so, i give up on this book. At least for now (13 June 2016)....more
2.5 stars. Because the further readings are terrible: just compare them with James Rachels's Problems from Philosophy. Because the writing is unnecess2.5 stars. Because the further readings are terrible: just compare them with James Rachels's Problems from Philosophy. Because the writing is unnecessarily repetitive and generally weak otherwise: entire clauses appear more than once within successive paragraphs, only partially modified. And because Law's only "dead cert" seems to be god's non-existence: almost every chapter has a "Conclusions" section stating that no definitive conclusions are possible for that topic. But because i so eagerly want to argue with him—especially about the Paradoxes chapter—i'll grant an extra half star. Maybe he'll feel so grateful that he'll ring me up for a cup of tea and some heated debate.
Of all the lamenesses in the Paradoxes, the following seems simplest to knock over. Law claims that at the time this book was written the following "paradox continues to perplex philosophers of language":
A boy challenges his father's assertion that "Santa Claus doesn't exist" is a true assertion. The boy gets his father to agree that names refer to something; in short, they allow us to talk about that something meaningfully. But, reasons the boy, if Santa Claus doesn't exist, then the name refers to nothing and his father's assertion literally makes no sense. Thus, Santa Claus must exist.
I doubt anybody had lengthy arguments about this statement or similar ones. Yes, one could intentionally misinterpret that sentence to mean "There is no such name as 'Santa Claus'," or "No existent beings have ever been named 'Santa Claus'," but that kind of bullshit belongs in the same trashbin as what Law calls "boring relativism," so let's ignore it completely. (view spoiler)[The sentence in question has an obvious meaning of something like "There actual being named 'Santa Claus' has ever exhibited or possessed all the defining characteristics of the fictional personage we are referring to by that name. The intended referent is clearly the fictitious/mythical being. More elaborately: there are exactly zero beings whom English-speaking Americans refer to as Santa Claus who live at the North Pole; employ myriad elves as toy-makers; ride thru the sky on a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer on Christmas night delivering gifts to all the world's good children; and have cheeks like roses, a nose like a cherry, and a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Furthermore, (hide spoiler)]Please don't bore me with your intentional obtuseness of linguistic ambiguity. When i say, "Fantasy Island doesn't exist," you know that i don't mean that the TV program called Fantasy Island doesn't exist; and you know that i don't mean that the island called "Fantasy Island" on the TV show of the same name does not exist within the show's own fictional world; and, mainly, you know that i mean that the eponymous island depicted on that TV program does not exist anywhere other than within the fictional world of that show (and of course as an "idea" in our heads when we speak of that show/island). Yeah, Fantasy Island exists, but it ain't the same kind of existence as when i say that the Hawaiian islands exist.
Decidedly not a paradox. For me. A brief search of the interwebs churns up some less than high caliber forum and wiki debates about this exact "paradox" as well as some stuff about Curry's Paradox, which involves a self-referential statement involving Santa Claus. I wonder if Law was thinking of this when he claimed his Santa paradox is still being debated. I also wonder if some smarty pants out there in Goodreads land would be so kind as to point out the flaw in my attempted refutation above. (waiting to be humiliated)...more